Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cakes and Cake Wrecks

My aunt sent me a link today to what has to be one of the funniest sites I've seen in a while. Maybe it's so funny to me because I've been doing more cake decorating of late than I have been stitching. It's a blog dedicated to finding the worst of the worst in PROFESSIONAL cakes out there. This doesn't count cakes that Moms like me make for their kids, but ones that people actually PAY professional cake decorators for. OMG I can't believe what some people will try to charge people money for. it's AWFUL!

Anyway, if you want to check it out it's called Cake Wrecks and the address is

Speaking of cakes I realize that I haven't posted anything much since January when I put up a picture of Rickey's cake. So, I've missed putting up Rachel's 2nd birthday cake and the Bridal shower cake I did for my friend Bridget just the other day. So, here are a few pics.

First, here's Rachel's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Birthday cake the morning of her birthday party before the kids got up. On top of the cake it says Happy 2nd Birthday Rachel in my in my "Oh-So-Awesome Icing Cursive"(TM).

The cake itself is a simple slab cake for the bottom layer. It's iced with plain buttercream icing tinted green, but I forgot that I had bought some green color spray so I wouldn't have to tint the icing. I decided to be smart and spray it over top of the original green anyway- since I had already bought the color spray and didn't want to waste it. *lol* (This will come back into play later in the story. )

The red dome for the clubhouse is made using half of the Wilton's Sports Ball Cake pan and covered in red marshmallow fondant. (known as MMF from now on)

The foot is shaped using yellow MMF and the hand is shaped using plain white MMF. The fingers were stuck on using toothpicks and laid flat to dry for several days. The black arm, leg and neck are made using a length of PVC pipe (bought at the local cake store(*1)) which was inserted into the hand/leg/head and then covered with black MMF for an inch or two below that point. I left enough PVC at the bottom for the head and hand that the PVC goes all the way down to the cake board for extra support.

The Head was made of three styrofoam balls (one 6" ball and two 4" balls) found in the floral section at Walmart and painted black. Here's a tip, don't try and use spray paint on styrofoam. It WILL melt the styrofoam. I found this out first hand two days before the party with no trips planned to go to Fredericton so I could get replacement foam balls. Luckily I always plan my kids parties for Sunday afternoons so that way everyone still has their Saturdays to do their normal running around, so I got my father in law to pick up a new 6" styrofoam ball (the last one in the store!!) and a small can of glossy black paint so I could paint a new one before the party on Sunday.

The fence is yellow MMF rolled out and then cut with a curved top using my pizza roller. The gate is just white with some yellow 'snakes'(*2) on top and then a little curve cut out of the top with my apple corer. Yes, I said apple corer... I also used it to cut the MMF circles that I used on Janice's birthday cake back in January.

I then tinted a small amount of MMF blue and made some windows using the blue fondant and a few black fondant 'snakes'. I also used the black to make the door frame and a small door knob.

*1 Note: I have no idea if there is a difference between PVC pipe you'd buy at the hardware store and the stuff sold for use in food, but just to be on the safe side I'd stick with stuff that you find marketed especially for food rather than take any chances.

*2 Snakes refer to when you used to play with Play-doh as a kid (or as an adult with your own kids) and would roll out the dough in your hands and make a long squiggly snake.

Here's a picture of the same cake at the party. Notice that it only says "Happy Birthday" instead of the original "Happy 2nd Birthday Rachel"??

Well I had forgotten that we had gone to the Disney Store the last time we were in Moncton and bought the small plastic Mickey Mouse Clubhouse figureines to put on top of the cake. Anyway when it came time to put them on there wasn't enough room for the figurines and the two candles, so I had to scrape the "2nd" and "Rachel" off the cake.

Now this wouldn't have been so bad, but remember my smart idea to use the green color spray on top of the grass? (even though I didn't need it) Well, the icing from the lettering dampened the color spray underneath it and when I took the lettering off, it took the extra green off as well, leaving the original green color of the icing underneath it. lol. I had to do a lot of frigging to get it looking half decent again. You can't really see anything wrong in this picture but in real life you could still see the lighter colour where the letters had been. Or, rather, I could still see it. I don't know if anyone else noticed it or if I only saw it because I knew it was there.

Oh, stop making fun of me... you know you do the same thing too!

In case you've never seen Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, here's a picture from the Disney Website that I scammed so I could make sure it looked fairly close. The only thing I left off was the blue slide on the side of the clubhouse.

Here's a more recent cake I did. It's a wedding shower cake I did for my friend Bridget just last weekend. It's done with white MMF and sage green icing (I used Wilton's Concentrated Paste in Juniper to dye it this colour) and a sage green ribbon I found at Walmart. The topping is just three roses I got at my local flower shop and arranged into a small glass votive holder that I then sunk into the top of the cake.

The cake was a 10" cake (3" deep) for the bottom layer and then 3 regular 8" cakes for the top layer. (It was Marble Cake per the bride's request)

Anyway, Hopefully I can get back into posting again, and it won't be nearly so long until my next post as it has been since my last one. (I don't actually count the "Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" post as an actual post... It's just a "go here before it's too late and you can't see it for free anymore" kind of post.)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

A campy, fun musical about a villan, a superhero and a girl.

Written and directed by Joss Whedon (creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and other great shows) Go visit it. Like, NOW!! It's only available to see for free until July 20th, after that you'll have to pay to download it!

Click on the picture to visit the site or go directly to

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Happy Birthday (party) Rickey

Today is my step-father's birthday. Well, not his birthday, that's not until Tuesday, but today WAS his birthday party. Mmmm... Turkey supper with all the fixins. Gotta love a FREE turkey supper.

Here was my contribution to the celebration. This "Maple Leafs" Birthday Cake!

Rickey is a HUGE Leafs fan, and has a rather large collection of Leafs memorabilia, most of which NEVER EVER gets used. The two coffee cups with the Leafs logos on them that we gave him for Christmas several years ago sit on a shelf in the kitchen. He won't use them. The Zippo lighter with the Leafs logo that my Mom got him for Christmas one year isn't even out of the package, and the rest is the same. So, when we walked in today with this cake he was pleasantly surprised, expecting just a plain Chocolate cake with chocolate icing. But he then proceeded to tell me that he loves it but "we can't eat it!" Lol. Well, too bad, there were four little kids running around that put a stop to THAT idea rather quickly.

Random Winter Pictures

A shot of my backyard in mid afternoon with the moon above the trees.

Same location, just a closeup of the snow covered fence.

Olivia, Rachel and Jason out playing in the snow.

My kids and husband in their first snowfort.

"Pew Pew" - Olivia pretending to shoot at me from lazerbeams on her wrists.
(She's been watching Buzz Lightyear on Playhouse Disney lately)

Rachel eating snow. Don't worry it wasn't yellow. *heehee*

Thursday, January 17, 2008

One Smart Dog!!

An old, tired-looking dog wandered into the yard. I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home. He followed me into the house, down the hall, and fell asleep in a corner. An hour later, he went to the door, and I let him out.

The next day he was back, resumed his position in the hall, and slept for an hour. This continued for several weeks.

Curious, I pinned a note to his collar: "Every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap."

The next day he arrived with a different note pinned to his collar: "He lives in a home with ten children -- he's trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?"

Note: This is NOT my picture, it just came with the email joke, so I thought I'd include it here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Visions of Dragons

I Finally finished stitching my Dream Sampler from Dragon Dreams. I've got 45 hours total stitching time on it. I didn't end up frogging out the Watercolors in the fairy's skirt. It looked fine with half stitches of the MUCH thicker Watercolors fibres, rather than the Waterlilies that it called for. I did, however frog the backstitching around the fairy's wings (what a chore that was!) and the backstitch swirls beside the fairy's wings. (which is much harder to see with the finer thread)

This one is for Olivia. I do plan on stitching it again for Rachel once I find a fabric that I suits it.

When I get around to getting it framed I'll post another picture.

Oh, I forgot to mention that it's stitched on 32 ct Iris Garden Opalescent Lugana from Silkweaver.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Cake Cake and more Cake

Well, I still havn't gotten any stitching done lately. My cousin and best friend, Janice is celebrating her 29th birthday on Wednesday, and was having a birthday party last night, so I decided to bake a cake for her.

Here is the cake I ended up making.

This was my first attempt at using rolled fondant, and I decided to try making Marshmallow Fondant. I loved it! It wasn't nearly as tricky to work with as I thought it would be. The only thing I'd do differently is I wouldn't make a square cake using fondant again. the corners were really very tricky. But the idea behind the cake was for it to look like two stacked presents, so I could get away with folding the corners on it, which I gratefully did.

I decided on these colours because it matches her bedroom, which she reedecorated just last spring.

Here is a quick picture of Olivia on Friday afternoon as we finished mixing up the cake mix and she was happily licking the spoon and beaters while the cake was baking.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Cat 3

Picture is not mine. Just posting it for fun

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I need to vent

Today's post has nothing to do with stitching, although I am only a day away from finishing Dream Sampler -- I'll post a picture as soon as it's done. It also has nothing to do with the Christmas pictures that I promised to post the last time I wrote, though hopefully I'll get off my duff and actually post them soon. It also has nothing to do with what I've been up to lately, which usually involves listening to either the new "Ultimate Santana" CD or the new Colbie Callait CD "CoCo" (which is great by the way) and reading online fanfic. Todays post is me venting about the freaking NB Health Care System.

Every child in New Brunswick (and I'm assuming all of Canada as well) goes for a 3 1/2 year checkup with the public health nurses, they make sure her eyesight is fine, check her hearing and speech as well as some general things like recognition of shapes, colours, etc. Basically just looking to see if there's anything that you're child is signifigantly behind on before they get to school. Well, Olivia had her 3 1/2 year checkup in May of 2007. (8 months ago) A speech therapist from the Parle Moi/Talk With Me program here in NB was there and mentioned that she thought that Olivia needed to be referred to see a speech therapist for her "imprecision" in her speech. She said that it's not a big problem, but something that should be looked into before school started if possible.

"Great! No problem." I said. "When do we go?" So then she tells me that the waiting list to get into a speech therapist in the Fredericton/Oromocto region is 8-10 months because they are short of speech therapists at the moment. A few weeks later I received a letter from the Speech Language Pathology Outpatient Department that said basically the same thing. 8-10 months. Ok, I can deal with that. They're dealing with staff shortages, there's not much I can do about it so there's not much sense in complaining. Right? Or, at lest, complaining isn't going to get me in any faster so no sense in getting myself all agrivated and worked up over something that I have no control over and no chance of changing.

Anyway, my cousin Janice asked me a few weeks ago if I'd ever heard any more about it and I said no I hadn't. She suggested calling to find out how much longer the wait would be since it was soon approaching 8 months since I was referred, and I hadn't yet received call to schedule an appointment within the next little while.

So, this morning I called the Audiology dept (same dept as speech therapist) and asked what how far up on the list Olivia currently was since we had been on the list since May of last year. She advises me she'll find out and give me a call back later this morning. About an hour later I get a call back and she informs me that they are still short staffed and it'll be at LEAST another YEAR befor we can get in. I nearly lost it. I know it's not her fault personally, and that thought is the only thing that kept me from completely going off on her about it. I said, something along the line of "So she's going to be in SCHOOL before she can get into a therapist?" and she said that was right, but that if I wanted her to get the speech help she needs before school I'd have to see a private speech therapist at a cost of $70-$80 per HOUR.

And, you know what makes me the angriest of all? I asked the "Parle Moi/Talk With Me" speech therapist whether Olivia needed to see someone at least TWICE in the year prior to her 3 1/2 year screening and she told me that Olivia was fine and her speech was just developing and would be fine. But during our meeting after the screening she told me that a parent usually notices the problems early on and they (the speech therapists) usually take that into account. If she had actually listened to me when I asked her about it the first few times, Olivia may have been into see a therapist by now and I wouldn't be going through this.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Welcome 2008

Well, Happy New Year for those of you who still check my Blog periodically. I rarely post anymore and I blame it all on the addiction that is Fanfiction. I've been stuck on a site (Twisting the Hellmouth - A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Crossover Fanfic site) for several months now. I've been giving less attention to my husband and kids (to some extent), my housework and most of all my stitching. DH and DD's and my housework have been getting a little less attention than normal, but my stitching has been almost completely non existant since that site started sucking up all my free time.

Here's a Family Picture that we had done in early December by a local Fredericton Photographer. We got them done just barely in time to go out with our Christmas Cards.

I've decided to run down my "To Do List" that I posted at the end of last year and see which ones have been accomplished and which ones have not. I commented after each item on whether it was a success or not. Blue text means I was successful with that item for 2007 and red text means I wasn't successful.

2007 To Do List

  1. Play with and read to my kids more - Yes, for a good part of the year until my Fanfic addiction took hold the last few months I was doing good with this.
  2. Try to keep up with my housework (or at least a little more than usual) - HA, not likely.
  3. Post on my blog at least once a week - This might have happened for the first month or so, but definitely a failure if we look at it long term.
  4. Post more to the email lists I belong to (no more lurking!) - I think I did good with this one for a while as well, but I haven't even CHECKED my email on that account for at least 6 months! A Dismal failure on that one ;)
  5. Comment more on other's blogs. - I always complain that no one (or rather very few people) comment on my blog, but I'm guilty of reading and running as well. But not anymore! - Again, I did well for a while but fell off the wagon early.
  6. Try and stitch at least two nights per week (EVERY week) - Nope
  7. Finish "Waiting" - YES YES YES!
  8. Start "Summer Blooms" (It's the second picture in this post) - Yep
  9. Finish "Summer Blooms" - Nope
  10. Start "Fairy Moon" - Yep
  11. Finish "Fairy Moon" (though not likely!) - Nope (though as you can see I wasn't really expecting to)
  12. Stitch "Quilt" (a DMC freebie I picked up online. See the pic here) and make it into a needlebook - Yep, though I never did finish stitching around the outside edge after finishing the needlebook
  13. Stitch and "finish" 3 new Christmas Ornaments for 2007 - HA. I never even got one finished. I stitched it and it sat there for a month waiting for me to put the beads on it. Never got to it yet.
  14. "finish" 3rd Ornament from 2006 (Blackwork Noel) - Nope... damn I'm lazy when it comes to finishing.
  15. Get started on a scrapbook for Rachel. - I got a few pages done, but never went further... though since I only said get "STARTED" on a scrapbook I guess this is a success *Woohoo*
  16. Make a monthly "to do" list each month to help keep me on track. - teeheehee... Nope, I think I did this in January and maybe one other month... 2 out of 12 - a success? I think not.

Ok, I think we can all agree that there is substantially more red than blue on the list, which means I need to either a) be more realistic in my goals or b) get off my tush and actually work on the things I WANT to accomplish and not assume that they're just going to happen on their own.

That being said, here are a few things I want to accomplish in 2008.

General Goals

  1. Spend more time playing with my kids and NOT sit on my butt in front of the computer while Olivia asks me to play with her. There's only so long when your kids actually WANT to be with you and be seen with you. I want to take advantage of those short years as much as possible.
  2. Walk on the treadmill at least 3 times a week. I got a treadmill in the late spring and I need to use it more
  3. Lose 20 lbs. (this kind of goes with #2)
  4. Reconnect with some of my Fredericton friends that I've lost touch with over the past year and a half - Most of whom I only hear about second hand through my friend Bridget.
  5. Write one multi-chapter Fanfic at TtH, instead of just lurking and reading all the wonderful (and in some cases - not so wonderful) stories.
Stitching Goals

  1. Finish Olivia's Dream Sampler - I'm nearly done now as it is.
  2. Finish Summer Blooms
  3. Finish (or at least make substantial progress on) Fairy Moon
  4. Start Mother's Tree (Lavender & Lace) (deciding on the fabric to stitch this on should be one task all on it's own)
  5. Start a second Dream Sampler for Rachel (again, once I figure out which fabric to use)
  6. Start Romantic Stitcher (Passione Ricamo)
  7. Start my Peace Snowglobe
  8. Finish my Peace Snowglobe
  9. Start Fairy Celebration 2
  10. Finish Fairy Celebration 2
  11. Have one Ornament weekend each month where I try to stitch one ornament a month -- If I don't get 12 made, I'd settle for one "finished" ornament for each of us. (As well as finishing the ones that I didn't from previous years.)

Heh, talk about being unrealistic. lol

I'll try to remember to post again tomorrow and put up a couple of pics from the holidays. If I just save this as a draft and attempt to add to it later when I have time I may NEVER get this one posted. At least this way I've posted something!

Some (but not all) blinkies adopted from:

Others found randomly around the net and put here to use for my own nefarious purposes! Muahahahaha. (*J/K*)